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Fallen star hits rock bottom after meteoric demise

Kahala's near-death experiences may have been mere ploys for attention, but the critical condition of her career is real.
Kahala's near-death experiences may have been mere ploys for attention, but the critical condition of her career is real.

Tomomi Kahala, once labeled the Cinderella of Japanese showbiz because of her meteoric rise to fame, has just found out that the clock has struck midnight in her fairytale, according to Shukan Josei (7/17).

The 32-year-old singer cum variety performer has found her career in yet another crisis after she was axed by her talent agency late last month.

"She cancelled a rehearsal for a TV show on June 19, pulled out of practice for a concert on June 20 and then yanked the plug on a few scheduled radio appearances on June 21," a reporter for a sports newspaper says. "That was the final straw for her agency and they sacked her soon after."

Kahala has not only lost her job, she also seems to have lost control of herself.

"She's into drugs. Every time she has worries with her work or her love life, she starts popping all sorts of pills -- sleeping pills, tranquilizers, even cold medicine. She scoffs into the drugs like they're candies," a showbiz insider says. "All the stuff she takes is legal, but she's addicted. She can't look you straight in the eyes, has trouble walking straight and is often barely articulate."

Kahala made her debut in 1995. Shortly after, she was unveiled as the lover of music producer Tetsuya Komuro, then reigning as the king of the Japanese pop world, and the young diva was hailed as his queen. But when Komuro dumped Kahala a few years later, her fairytale turned into a horror story.

First she was rushed off to a hospital in an ambulance after being poisoned by gas from an oven. It was only the first of a series of bizarre, attention-grabbing moments. She has since taken three long sabbaticals from work, been hospitalized for an overdose of prescription medicine, announced an impending marriage and then retracted the announcement moments later. She eventually sought refuge with a long stay in Canada.

Kahala had another sabbatical from December last year until March, pulling out of a stage play, and had only just returned to work a couple of weeks before she was fired.

She's also been in the care of the constabulary recently.

"She was found collapsed on the road in a drunken stupor in (the Tokyo district of) Nishi Azabu one night and the cops took her into their care before sending her off to a hospital for treatment," the sports newspaper writer says. "In June alone, the cops picked up her up being drunk three times!"

And it wasn't just drunkenness.

"She was found staggering around one night with her hair all done up and decked out in a flashy dress like a nightclub hostess, but hadn't noticed one of her tits had popped out," the showbiz insider says.

Shukan Josei (7/17)
Shukan Josei (7/17)

Toru Ogi, head of Production Ogi, the talent agency that fired Kahala, says he wanted to maintain their 8-year relationship and tried to do so by making her sign a memorandum that she would promise not to take too many prescription drugs. Just two months after she gave him the document, Kahala suddenly canceled the consecutive appointments and Ogi had been through enough.

"I sacked her with her best interests in mind," Ogi tells Shukan Josei. "She had problems with medicines before she joined our talent agency and we did everything in our power to avoid having to fire her. She had always done what I told her up until now, so dismissing her was really hard for me. I hope firing Tomomi will in some way serve as a kind of shock therapy for her to get her life back in order again." (By Ryann Connell)

(Mainichi Japan) July 6, 2007


WaiWai stories are transcriptions of articles that originally appeared in Japanese language publications. The Mainichi Daily News cannot be held responsible for the contents of the original articles, nor does it guarantee their accuracy. Views expressed in the WaiWai column are not necessarily those held by the Mainichi Daily News or the Mainichi Newspapers Co. WaiWai © Mainichi Newspapers Co. 1989-2007.

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